Review: The Last Banquet, Jonathan Grimwood

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
The Last Banquet, Jonathan Grimwood cover
Jean-Marie Charles d’Aumout is many things. Orphan, soldier, diplomat, spy, lover. And chef.
This is his story.
We meet Jean-Marie d’Aumout as a penniless orphan eating beetles by the side of a road. His fate is changed after an unlikely encounter finds him patronage and he is sent to military academy. Despite his frugal roots, and thanks to it and courage in great measure, he grows up to become a diplomat and spy.
Rising through the ranks of eighteenth-century French society, he feasts with lords, ladies and eventually kings, at the Palace of Versailles itself.
Passionate love, political intrigue and international adventure abound in Jean-Marie’s life, but his drive stems from a single obsession: the pursuit of the perfect taste. Three-Snake Bouillabaisse, Pickled Wolf’s Heart and Flamingo Tongue are just some of the delicacies he devours on his journey toward the ultimate feast.
But beyond the palace walls, revolution is in the air and the country is clamouring with hunger of a different kind.

Jon Courtenay Grimwood was born in Malta. He grew up in the Far East, Britain and Scandinavia. Apart from novels he writes for magazines and newspapers. For five years he wrote a monthly review column for the Guardian. He has also written for The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent. His work is published in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Danish, Finnish, Dutch and American, among others
He is married to the journalist and novelist Sam Baker, who recently resigned as editor-in-chief of Red magazine to work on a start up. They divide their time between Winchester and Paris

I was really looking forward to a book where a boy with an extraordinary taste pallet would conquer the world (or France) with new recipes filled with weird things. In a way the book is like that but the whole food thing was not what made him seem important. At parts it was mentioned he was known for his interest in various foods but I did not feel it that strong. What did surprise me where the rather describing sex scenes. I was not expecting those and therefore they did not fit with the image I had in my head concerning this book disturbing my reading experience a bit. Other parts are fun to read. I liked the story when Jean Marie first visited Charlots place and what happened that summer and his adventures in Corsica and with Tigris.

The Last Banquet
Author: Jonathan Grimwood
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 368
Format: eGalley
ISBN-13: 9780857868794 (hardcover)
Canongate : Hardcover
The Last Banquet

2 star review

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1 reacties:

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01 July, 2013 delete

The cover is interesting, but yes I would probably feel the same way if the book doesn't live up to the idea in my head.